California bans retail sale of dogs, cats, rabbits

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​​California is the first state to ban the retail sale of dogs and cats, along with rabbits, following in the footsteps of cities across the country that have banned the retail sale of dogs and cats while allowing pet stores to offer animals from shelters for adoption.

On Oct. 13, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB 485, Pet Store Operators: Dogs, Cats, and Rabbits, taking effect Jan. 1, 2019. Previously, no state had banned the retail sale of dogs and cats, according to the AVMA Division of State Advocacy and Leadership.

According to the California legislative counsel's digest of AB 485, "This bill would prohibit a pet store operator from selling a live dog, cat, or rabbit in a pet store unless the dog, cat, or rabbit was obtained from a public animal control agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter, humane society shelter, or nonprofit rescue or adoption organization that is in a cooperative agreement with at least one private or public shelter, as specified."

In California, about three dozen municipalities have similar bills in place, according to Best Friends Animal Society. The society lists local bans on retail pet sales in 19 other states.

Related JAVMA content:

​California might ban the retail sale of dogs, cats, rabbits (Aug. 1, 2017)

Cities banning retail sale of dogs, cats (March 1, 2011)